Mason Jars

I wanted to share some of the things I’ve managed to do with mason jars. I have lots of links to share, but I wanted to share my experience with trying out some of the recipes and letting you know what I thought.

http://www.thekitchn.com/salad-in-a-jar-make-a-week-of-lunches-173014

http://www.thekitchn.com/have-jar-will-travel-best-idea-119212

http://www.thekitchn.com/a-barbecue-lunch-in-a-jar-with-118982

http://www.thekitchn.com/chili-and-cornbread-a-coolweat-131096

http://www.thekitchn.com/make-your-own-fruitonthebottom-125467

http://www.thekitchn.com/have-jar-will-travel-best-idea-119212

http://www.notmartha.org/tomake/cobblerbakedinjars/

Summary Sunday

This week’s news was the cold that kicked my butt. I had a horrid night sunday night and woke up with a sand paper throat, then came chills, sweating and over all crudness. I spend most of Monday & Tuesday curled up on the couch or in bed. It was a beautiful day too, what a waste.

 

I did managed to make some sweet tea as my flavored water supplies had run out and I was not going to spread my crud to anyone else..  I drank a gallon in a day and a half. I had to make another pitcher.

 

I did get some snuzzles from the furry nurses here..

8/5 – woke up with a killer sore throat, sneezing like a manic, had shivers, went to the dr and was told it’s just a cold and do a nasal rinse.. (I would rather pull out teeth than do a nasal rinse)

8/6 – Day 2 of the cold thank goodness for paper towels, because my nose was running all over the place. Napped most of the day when I wasn’t too busy shivering.

8/7 – Day 3 the cold moved from my head into my chest, first adventured out of the house for some groceries.. I happily parked myself in front of the couch for the rest of the day.

8/8 – Day 4 I sound like an old car engine trying to start up, managed to get out of the house for a bit and washed my hair. Made work breakfasts and lunches.

8/9 – day 5  first day back to work since monday.. ugh

8/10 – day 6

8/11 – Today – day 7 going to start back with 10 minutes on the elliptical on monday.

Movie Review: Constantine

I know this is an oldie.. but I still love this movie.

Why? I love watching Rachel Weisz.. see my review for Oz the Great and Powerful. I love Tilda Swinton and Djimon Hounsou. And despite the fact that many people don’t give him credit as a good actor this was a good role for Keanu Reeves.

Granted, I don’t know anything about the graphic novel.. never read it, I might like it if I did.. but I do enjoy watching good vs evil, God vs Devil movies.

And the version of Hell in this movie is much more realistic than any other version of Hell I’ve seen in any other movie.

And Peter Stormare’s Satan was just the icing on the cake.

I loved Constantine’s flippant answers.. I’m drawn to sarcasm like a cat to tuna.

There are quite a few memorable quotes in the movie here are a few of my favorites:

“Heaven and hell are right here, behind every wall, every window, the world behind the world. And we’re smack in the middle.”

You’re handed this precious gift, right? Each one of you granted redemption from the Creator – murderers, rapists, molesters – all of you just have to repent, and God takes you into His bosom. In all the worlds and all the universe, no other creature can make such a boast, save man. It’s not fair.”

“If sweet, sweet God loves you so, then I will make you worthy of His love. But it’s only in the face of horror that you truly find your nobler selves – and you can be so noble. So … I will bring you pain. I will bring you horror.”

“I guess there’s a plan for all of us. I had to die … twice … just to figure that out. Like the book says, he works his work in a mysterious ways. Some people like it … some people don’t.”
“Angels and Demons cant cross over onto our plane. So, instead we get what I call half-breeds. The influence peddlers.They can only whisper in our ears. But a single word can give you courage, or turn your favorite pleasure into your worst nightmare.Those with the demons touch like those part angel, living alongside us. They call it the balance. I call it hypocritical bullshit.”

Noteable performance: The complaining sidekick.. you may recognize him.. that’s right it’s Shia LeBeouf you know from Transformers.

I think the movie appeals to me because of the whole God vs Devil thing.. I like watching Devil’s Advocate, Bedazzled and a few other movies like that for that reason.  But I like Constantine’s concept of there being an influence, people that are good or evil. They can either save or kill. I think everyone has that potential its whether or not they choose to use it.

Summary Sunday

Workout Journal

7/29 – 30 minutes on the elliptical at work. It’s all thanks to awesome music and the tv in the gym having captions. Unfortunately it’s on ESPN but.. I get caught up on sports for that day.  The last 3 minutes were brutal though.. I really had to push through it.

7/30 – 47 minutes swimming.. yeah.. I’m shocked by that too. The time was passing slowly when I wanted to play and I hit the blerb (which I’m beginning to think is related to the blerch which belongs to the oatmeal)..basically what people would call the wall when their body gets tired but I pictured a  mini me with wings wanting to spot and eat cake and I pushed through it to silence her.  So I slipped back into the pool at 8:16 after resting for a moment and went back at it.. pushing, pushing and then finally I hit my stride. Paddle, paddle, paddle, kick, kick, turn around paddle, paddle, kick, kick. Back and forth over and over again. I was out swimming the fat girl that wanted to lay on the couch and sleep, she wanted to eat cake and cookies and cupcakes and soda.. there was no pain in my arms, I kept swimming. And after a while.. I realized maybe I should stop.. and when I got out it was 8:50. I swam a total of 47 minutes.. holy cow.

7/31 – 25 minutes swimming

8/1 -20 minutes on the elliptical machine

8/2- 20 minutes on the elliptical machine

8/3-  50 – 20 minutes weight lifting and 30 on the elliptical machine

8/4 – 42 12 minutes walking and 30 on the elliptical machine..

Things I’ve quit eating/drinking

-sodas – sugary goodness for a small high for about 30 minutes and then nothing but sugary bliss is not worth the blerb feeling I get afterwards or the desire to follow that up with something much much worse.. like cake, cookies, cupcakes or popcorn

-pop tarts – oh how I love your frosted goodness.. but at 400 calories for the pair of you.. that’s 20+ on the elliptical.. yeah.. no thanks. I would rather have a small sandwich, a small bowl of almonds and a hard boiled egg.. thanks.

Things I’ve started to eat/drink

infused waters – so very very easy.. tasty and different.

breakfast – yeah I was a breakfast skipper and now I make all my breakfasts on my days off and grab the baggie and go on workday mornings.

I know there are some people out there wondering how to make a change for the better without going broke.. here are a few things I’ve done without spending extra

Buy eggs – they are a great source of protein and can be breakfast, lunch or dinner

Buy fruit.. I’m not talking exotic things you’ve never heard of.. I’m suggesting bananas (great snacks), lemons (flavored water), grapes (great snack, even better frozen)

If you can afford it buy those wonderful flat bread things.. they are about $2.48 a pack.. I know it’s expensive.. but it’s 100 calories for the two slices and you can use them for sandwiches or just to eat on their own.. I like to put a bit of margarine on them and slap a hard boiled egg between them.. that’s breakfast noms.

Aldi is a great place to get fruit and veggies.. you just need a cloth bag or two, a quarter for the cart and off you go.

Movie Review: Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters

Where do I begin with this one?

I’m glad I didn’t see it in the theaters… the previews were lies.. I saw a few of the scenes in the movie and another in the “recap” part of the movie.

Second, how many other movies were released with close to the same title? I wanted to watch it on Netflix.. nope.. they had “Hansel & Gretel” but not the one I wanted, Redbox had another “Hansel & Gretel” I was getting frustrated until I finally went online and found it.

Geez…

Thankfully I went into the movie expecting something like Van Helsing… and that is what I got.

I like Famke Janssen, I really do. I’ve seen her in X-Men, Love & Sex, Eulogy,  and one of my favorites House on Haunted Hill.

She can play evil characters really well.. but I don’t think she had enough time to develop as her character.. which no one even said her name in the movie (I don’t think) and yet the credits she’s “Muriel”.

I think she’s having a Monday..

There are quite a few holes in this movie like Hasel’s sickness, what makes high witches special, why Muriel can change from normal looking to witchy looking, what in the world do trolls have to do with this movie, white witches, where the fancy weaponry came from if it’s supposed to be olden times, how in the world did Gretel go from a dress to pants?

But suspend disbelief when watching this movie and don’t let the kids see it, it’s R for language and gore.. because there’s some words that would not have been used during that time frame and lots of gore.. and scary jumpy scenes oh and some nudity.

I don’t think I will be watching this again.. because of the inconsistencies.. I have no problems being taken to the land of Oz or seeing what’s lurking in a haunted house, but bringing shot guns into near medieval times really  pushes my disbelief.

I would have gone with either being in present day or ditching the fancy guns for doing something more like Sleepy Hollow when Tim Burton remade it. It was still gory, but did a great job of staying in the past and sticking to what would have been available to use during that time.

Notable performance: The good witch Mina played by Pihla Viitala and the evil sheriff.. played by the awesome Peter Stormare.. don’t recognize him? If you’ve seen Constantine you should, he played Satan.

More reviews:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/hansel_and_gretel_witch_hunters/

http://www.mania.com/hansel-gretel-witch-hunters-unrated-bluray-review_article_137743.html

http://www.ruthlessreviews.com/16409/hansel-and-gretel-witch-hunters-review/

http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/Hansel-And-Gretel-Witch-Hunters-6290.html

Call Center Employees – debunking the myths

This topic came about after a discussion with a co-worker saying that some people would rather lose their house and be on the street than work in a call center. Really? I would rather work in a call center. So I wanted to run down the truths & myths of working in a call center since I’ve been doing it on and off for almost 10 years.

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Truth –

You will get that person who has verbal diarrhea and that call normally comes in just a minute or two before your break, lunch or the end of your shift.

You will hear the same question over and over again.

What you learned in your training class probably won’t cover everything you learn once you are out.

You will probably be asked to work overtime on your days off or extra hours during your shift.

Myth –

#1 You get to sit at your desk and browse the internet.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

#2 It’s a happy environment.

It is what you make it, yes the job is thankfless most of the time. You will get people who just want to vent, curse, or be perverted. But for the customer who are easy to please, there is a gem of a customer who will thank you repeatedly for helping them.

#3 The people are unhappy, sarcastic and hate their jobs.

It’s all perception. If you get bad customer service, report it to their manager, but please remember to do the same for great customer service.

#4 The people who work in call centers are society’s rejects.

*snort, giggles* Sorry.. I’ve met an ivy-league educated person, former caterers, business owners, lawyers, etc at call centers I’ve worked at. If those are society’s rejects… there is a problem.

#5 A chimp would do a better job working at a call center than they could.

I highly doubt it, but I would like to see a chimp go through training and answer the phone, navigate a system, provide answers and forward messages all while having the customer on the phone.

#6 The people at the call center are in control of the programs and do things on purpose to make customers angry.

*sighs* We are in no more control of the program that made the customer angry than we are of the weather. The best we can do is make a note and forward it.  Or if you let us, guide you through the program.

#7 The people that work at call centers are soulless creatures.

 

Summary Sunday

I went to the doctor this week and was shocked.. okay not shocked a bit horrified to find out I gained 12 lbs since March 2012.  So I decided, enough was enough.. it’s time to do the dreaded thing and workout and get my relationship with food under control.

I love food.

Very much.

But our relationship has to change if I plan on living like I do and not being at risk for a blood clot, diabetes, high cholesterol or anything else related to being “plump”.

When I asked what my ideal weight would be, I almost choked when the doctor suggested for my height 5’8″ I should be 140. Wait.. what? Seriously? I don’t know when I weighted less than 200 lbs, much less 140.

She did suggest setting a goal for 200 and making steps towards it.. and that working out was like going to work, something you just have to do. I disagree. I remember being really close to 200 pounds and working out and liking it. I lifted weights a roommate had at the house and did push ups and sit ups and danced. I felt so proud when I could wear a two piece swimming suit.. mind you it was a chubby girl two piece, but it was a two piece.

So I decided to make the commitment to myself and to you to share my journey of weight loss.. the ups, downs, sideways and slug days of it. Mind you.. I was born with fat rolls and a mini afro.. so these rolls have lots of wear on them and it will be hard to part with them.. but I don’t want to be huffing and puffing just walking up the stairs to work.

In speaking of work.. I am lucky to work at a place that has a gym I can use for free.. my favorite torture device so far has been the elliptical machine.. I have learned I cannot read blogs while working out, but music is a great way to pass the time.

Below is the summary of workouts from the week

7/22 – 20 minutes on the elliptical – done in 10 minute intervals before work and during lunch

7/23 – it’s my day off.

7/24 – i wore ankle weights for about 10 minutes.. and ate pizza.. delicious pineapple & ham pizza and watched movies..

7/25 – nope.. not working out.. *pffft* :p

7/26 – I was having a grouchy mean spirited day.. the last thing I wanted to do was workout

7/27- 23 minutes on the elliptical.. 20 minutes before work and 3 during a break

7/28 – 25 minutes on the elliptical.. 20 minutes before work (the last 3 minutes were brutal!) and 5 during a break.

For those also interested in getting fit, there’s a wonderful app/website called myfitnesspal.com it’s completely free and you can track your weight, other measurements, your food intake and your exercise. If you want to friend me, I’m under “yornma”. I could use moral support and I’ll support you back. 🙂

If you have a smart phone, workout trainer is another good app. Just use the free version and you have lots of work outs you can do that are guided and you can schedule them. I like doing the yoga ones as well as the 15 minute ones.


The inspiration for today’s blog is from The Oatmeal’s cartoon about the terrible & wonderful reasons I run.

It’s amusing, educational and terrifying all at once. I’m going to make the pledge to workout so I can eat.


Flavored Water

This is all over Pinterest and I wanted to share and give it a try. I love flavored drinks.. sodas are definitely out, so is Crystal Light and anything else that contains “juice”… so I wanted to share some infused flavor water.. you just need fruits for. You can either use mason jars to make a individual drink or let it seep in a larger container. Please keep in mind these waters have about a 48 hour shelf life.. so make sure you drink them quickly.

Below are some links that will help you with the decisions on the flavors.

http://nomorefatgirlweightloss.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/awesome-flavored-water-recipes.html

http://www.fruitinfusedwater.com/

http://www.infusedwaterrecipes.com/


11 Vegetables that will help eliminate BELLY FAT!!

  • Forming part of the right foods that will help you lose belly fat are vegetables. We all know that fruits and vegetables are good combinations if we want to be healthy. Adding to that is the privilege of losing unwanted fat in our body. There are types of vegetables that will make losing belly fat even easier.
  • Vegetables are rich in different types of vitamins and minerals. Depending on what you consume, you will achieve the results you want in losing belly fat in so short a time. Yes, there are also rules to follow if you want to make sure that you achieve your goals. Part of the rules is focusing on the right set of vegetables that will make you lose belly fat.

    Vegetables to Lose Belly Fat

    The most vital aspect in burning belly fat and in reducing weight as well is consuming the right kinds of food. These ones are useful in melting away the fats that built in your stomach area. The following are some of the excellent types of vegetables that can aid you in losing belly fat. These have the ability to crash fats that built up in your belly over the years and it will help you wash out the fat more quickly.

    1. Asparagus

    It has a substance known as asparagines – a kind of alkaloid that accelerates your kidneys and develop the circulatory procedure. Alkaloids have the ability to melt oxalic acid which can fasten fat to your cells thus resulting to a decreased fat intensity.

    2. Beets

    This is considered as a powerful diuretic that concentrates on your liver and kidney. It has the ability to get rid of hanging body fats and purifies blood corpuscles that can control fat sediments. It also includes chlorine which has the capacity to invigorate the lymph thus aiding in washing away fat sediments.

    3. Brussel sprouts

    It can accelerate the function of your pancreas which discharges hormones that provide purification outcome to the cells. It includes minerals that motivate the kidney’s job to let loose of the waste materials that can harm your organs.

    4. Cabbage

    This is considered an excellent kind of food if you have belly fat because it can aid in melting down the fat in your waistline and stomach area. The sulfur and iodine content of this vegetable is useful in purifying the gastric intestinal mucous membrane in your abdomen and intestines in order to melt down the fat.

    5. Carrots

    This vegetable includes carotene, a kind of Vitamin A that begins the fat cleansing response in your system. This cleansing response will exactly get rid of the fat and thrash rapidly. The carotene that turn into Vitamin A in your intestines will help your metabolism to work rapidly in order to let your cells respond properly to eradicate fat sediments.

    6. Celery

    Uncooked celery contains elevated intensity of calcium which can easily be absorbed so that as soon as you consume it, the calcium is transmitted at once to go to work. Due to this intensity of calcium, your endocrine system is stirred up to make hormones melt down the fat that had built up in your body. It also contains elevated amount of magnesium and iron which aid in cleansing your system.

    7. Cucumber

    It includes sulfur and silicon substance that invigorate your kidney to eliminate uric acid and slacken off fat from your cells.

    8. Garlic

    It is considered as an innate diuretic that include mustard oil which has a purification effect in your body. It endorses a powerful act called peristalsis, a muscular spasm that aids in melting away mass of fat and eliminating it out from your system.

    9. Horseradish

    It contains remarkable outcome in melting up fat from your cells without any side effects. It is also considered as a powerful cleanser of body wastes.

    10. Lettuce

    It is rich in iron and magnesium and is useful for your liver function. It helps lose belly fat by enhancing your metabolism and gets rid of fatty cells.

    11. Radish

    It has elevated the intensity of iron and magnesium which can clean your mucous membrane and melt fat in your cells.

Author’s Note: I refuse to say the word “diet” because it’s not a diet.. and I hate saying “life style change” because that’s a nicer way of saying diet. “portion control” makes me sound like a pig.. so let’s just call this a chance to experience new things.